GEMINI GEMINI TRACK BY TRACK: THE WAR
“The War” was written as a short piece, supposedly a little piece of music & lyrics to put in between two “real” songs on the album. Though, when showing it to my co-producer Johannes and drummer Micke, they said I had to rewrite and make a full song out of it. I still wanted to keep it quite short and not add any more parts, so I wrote more lyrics (plenty of inspiration for that!) and made it a “proper song” – but effectively short. We brought in a great little orchestra of string players (you can see some of them here, in the beautiful trailer for THE WAR) that brought on a dignified effect to the song. Other than that it’s just a tuned drum kit (I wanted the drums to sound more “tribal”), percussion, synth bass, lots of vocals and some sparse keys hoovering above it all. Small parts that create a big sound world.
Just before I started my writing period for “Gemini Gemini”, I had taken a class in gender & feminism at the university. I’ve always called myself a feminist, but reading all the books and articles we were assigned gave me a broader and more educated perspective – I was filled with new thoughts and ideas.
First, let me declare – I don’t believe in a “fight” between the sexes, I do not believe that feminism is a WAR. It’s an analogy. Feminism is about believing in equal rights and equal opportunities for both (all) sexes. Lena Gemzöe presents a definition in her book “Feminism” (2002, free-hand translation):
“Feminism is acknowledging that 1) women are subordinate to men, and 2) this needs to be corrected.”
It’s not much more complicated than that, really, but we all need to make an effort to be able to go through with this change. Mankind is rather lazy – we tend to take the easy way out if we can. So how can we raise the general awareness? A lot of problems around the “issue” of feminism today has to do with the way we communicate it. What issues lies on the table? How do we talk about them so that people who don’t want to call themselves feminists can understand? One great example of communicating these ideas in a very straight-forward and simple way, was stated by swedish PR agent Lina Thomsgård. She spent free time just counting through lists of booked bands, dj’s, experts in the TV sofa’s, etc etc… When she questioned a club, a company, a tv show or a festival why they had all male dj’s, only male bands, male experts or male board members, she always got the same reply; “we couldn’t find any other people”. So she asked around in her network: “Does anyone know of a female nuclear expert?” “Can you list all great female dj’s for me?” and so on, and got back to the people just to say that there ARE people out there, you just need to look a little harder and update your lists. This is what started up RÄTTVISEFÖRMEDLINGEN (EQUALISTERS in english).
Companies, tv stations or whomever can turn to Rättviseförmedlingen and say: “Hey – we want to do something about the imbalances in representation in our board/in our news show/whatever – can you help us find some experts in this field that are women?” Or maybe: “can you help us find people for this that are not native swedes?” Then Rättviseförmedlingen asks their members on Facebook (about 50.000 people in Sweden right now), and get a list of qualified tips to hand whomever asked. It’s a very easy, hands-on take on how to correct imbalances in representation. And if what is represented to us – through media, through big companies, through festivals etc – is that women, immigrants or other misrepresented groups get as big a share of the public space as the white male – that will eventually be the new and unquestioned order. It’s just one way of working with these issues, and it might seem silly to be counting – but figures give us hard facts. Big change can start in a small way.
Anyways – long story short: I wrote this song to celebrate all people who endures talking about these issues, who works with it every day, big or small. It might have to do with getting girls to school in a country where girls and women traditionally are held at home, it might have a to do with counting names on lists of board members, it might have to do with making sure women have safe health care or legal rights. For all of you who struggle daily to make this world equal and better for everyone – I salute you! It’s not a war but it’s a fight we need to go through to move forward.
Listen to it here in the Spotify widget, or on Youtube below!